Disability Rights Awareness Month 2017

6 Nov 2017

South Africa commemorates National Disability Rights Awareness Month annually between 3 November and 3 December.

3 December is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and is also commemorated as National Disability Rights Awareness Day.

Disability is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these. A disability may be present from birth, or occur during a person's lifetime.

The theme for #DRAM2017 is: “Strengthening Self-Representation: Young people building on the legacy of OR Tambo and Friday Mavuso towards sustainable and resilient society for all.”

The focus for #DRAM2017 will fall on the 20th Anniversary of the release of the Integrated National Disability Strategy (INDS) and the 10th Anniversary of ratification of the UNCRPD and its Optional Protocol as important building blocks towards achieving our National Development Plan Vision 2030.

The National Development Plan (NDP) notes that many persons with disabilities are unable to develop their full potential due to multiple barriers such as physical, information, communication and attitudinal barriers. It also states that “Disability must be integrated into all facets of planning, recognising that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.”

Census 2011 revealed that the national disability prevalence rate is 7,5 percent in South Africa. The report further indicated that disability is more prevalent among females compared to males.

In order to address challenges facing persons with disabilities, Cabinet approved the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2015. The White Paper commits duty bearers to amongst other things, remove discriminatory barriers and ensure access and participation for persons with disabilities.

The Department will during the campaign reflect on progress attained on promoting the rights of persons with disabilities and encourage South Africans to support the emancipation of persons with disabilities.

The Department of Social Development is responsible for driving the government’s equity, equality and empowerment agenda in terms of those living with disabilities.

Disability Rights Awareness Month (DRAM) provides South Africa with an opportunity to:

  • Inspire hope and confidence in the ability of South Africans and the state machinery to work together in addressing the common challenges facing persons with disabilities and society in general;
  • Mobilise persons with disabilities around the gains made in protecting, promoting and upholding the rights of persons with disabilities since the adoption of the Freedom Charter 60 years ago and 21 years of democracy;
  • Reach out to the diversity within the disability sector, and acknowledging that all human and socio-economic rights should be equally enjoyed by all persons with disabilities, irrespective of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, impairment, socio-economic status, educational qualification level, religion, culture, employment status or nationality; and to
  • Celebrate the release of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which advocates for measures that will hold duty-bearers accountable and strengthen recourse measures for rights-holders whose rights have been violated.
     

Follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter via #DRAM2017 and #DisabilityRights

Speeches, statement and advisories:

Minister Bathabile Dlamini launches Disability Rights Awareness Month in Durban, 3 Nov

Services for people with disabilities

 

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